.blogs I love.

Even though I haven’t been the best at updating our blog, I do read a lot of blogs.  Here are some of my favorites:

  1.  Pretty Neat Living


Technically Jen’s blog, Pretty Neat Living, is more of a segue for her YouTube channel {also called Pretty Neat Living}, but she is such a great resource for beauty secrets, organization tips, holiday planning, and baby stuff {that’s new}.  When we were moving, I watched so many of her videos about home organization and her holiday prep videos are fantastic.  I love her product reviews the most, because she takes a really objective approach to whatever she’s reviewing.

2.  Southern Curls & Pearls


Caitlin is a Southern gal with a fantastic sense of style.  She posts really regularly and has really pushed me to think outside the box of my basic black wardrobe.  She’s really plugged into what sites and shops are having great sales and her hair is fantastic.  My most recent favorite post is her haircare routine.

3.  Jones Design Company


I’ve followed Emily’s blog since its inception and I love her vulnerability and her many crafty projects.  I’m not crafty in the least, but even I could manage to make these little flower pins.  My co-teacher and I are obsessed with her Emily font and use it for almost everything and her home decor tips are really tasteful and simple.

4.  Emily Ley


I love Emily’s products, especially her Home Base Binder and her Contacts book .  I also love her Weekly Top Ten and her Simplicity Series.  Emily is really pro-women in a way that is inspiring:  we should only focus on what matters most.  She’s also a blast to follow on Instagram because she has a really sweet sense of style and her babies are adorable.

5.  Classy Girls Wear Pearls


Sarah Vickers truly embodies that classic, East Coast style.  She and her husband, Kiel James Patrick are fantastic to follow on Instagram.  Sarah has a more subdued style than Caitlin, but I’ve gotten tons of outfit inspiration from Classy Girls Wear Pearls.

What about you?  What blogs are you currently following?  Obviously I lean more towards design and lifestyle blogs, but I’m open to suggestions!



PS:  this is Josh’s favorite blog.

I also love this Disney blog, because we’re obsessed.

I am so ready.  So, so ready.


Self-Care & Why It Matters

Ahem…is this thing on?  It’s been almost an entire calendar year since I’ve posted anything, but I firmly believe that I shouldn’t really say {type} anything unless I have something important to say {type}.  I’m in graduate school right now and my advisor keeps blasting me with emails about attending a Self-Care Seminar for graduate students {which would be pretty hard considering I’m in an online program} and self-care has been on my brain this week, so I thought it would prudent to talk {type} about ways I’m trying to practice self-care.

  1.  Make a daily schedule.  Josh will be the first to point out that I don’t do well without a schedule.  I’ve been on Winter Break this week and suddenly it was Thursday and I realized that I hadn’t put on real clothes or makeup {or washed my hair} for days.  Obviously, summer vacation poses quite a problem for me since I don’t work during the months of June and July.  Yesterday I jotted down a quick list of what I needed to do and the timeframes I had to work with and felt so much better.  I didn’t accomplish everything on my list and I definitely still rocked leggings all day, but the sense of accomplishment gave me a sense of worth.
  2. Say no.  Gosh, this has been my mantra.  I’m the daughter of a man with excellent boundaries, so I’ve learned firsthand how liberating the word NO can be.  If it’s not something you want to do or something that you don’t have time for, just say no.  If someone gets mad at you, let them fester while you do you.  Period.  I know so many people {especially women} who make themselves miserable for the sake of being polite.  Just don’t do it.  Your health and sanity are worth a lot more than the opinions of others.
  3. Keep up with the Joneses {appearance wise}.  This one may not apply to you, but I work better, play better, and just do better when I feel good about the way I look.  For me, this means that I don’t let myself feel bad about taking time on my appearance.  I had an excellent example of this in my mother.  Even when we were small {and probably driving her crazy}, she never let us allow her to look tired or worn down.  She took time each day to style her hair, apply makeup, and dress fashionably.  My Daddy helped her with this by making sure she had the time each day to devote to her outward appearance so she felt good inwardly.  *Side note:  didn’t y’all just love watching your Mama put on makeup?  It was my favorite thing growing up.  I loved all the lipsticks and blushers and all that.  My favorite part was watching Mama put on her perfume everyday…one spritz on the left wrist, rub on the right wrist, and a dab at the neck.  When I smell Halston, I smell my childhood.
  4. Keep your space tranquil.  Josh and I recently bought our first home and we finally unpacked the last of the boxes this week.  All the clutter made me miserable during the unpacking process, so we quickly developed a routine of things to do each day to make our home tranquil and neat.  I’m a no-clutter kind of gal {seriously, I recently tried to throw away my yearbooks, but Coach stopped me}, so each evening before I cook supper, I round up anything that is out of place and put it away.  My husband takes Atlas for an afternoon walk as soon as he gets home and then while the pup eats his supper, Coach quickly vacuums the rugs and carpeting and does a quick sweep with the Swiffer.  I really, really try to make the bed each morning before I leave for work, but if I run out of time, I make it my first priority when I get home.  I also try really hard to resist the temptation to change into my pajamas until it’s bedtime because it makes me feel a little more June Cleaver and a little less Peggy Bundy at supper time.  After supper, we load the dishwasher together, wipe down all the surfaces in the kitchen, light a candle {the Chardonnay scent is my current obsession}, and relax.  And as much as I hate doing laundry, it’s a lot better to do a load every day or so instead of waiting until Sunday afternoon.
  5. Take care of your health.  Don’t ignore your body telling you to slow down!  Eat whole foods and drink tons of water!  Schedule an annual physical and actually show up!  For me, 90% of my physical health depends on me setting myself up for success each day.  At night, I refill my water bottles I use during the day and stick them in my bag so I don’t have an excuse not to get my 70+ ounces in.  On Sundays, we {try to} meal prep for our lunches so we’re not dependent on eating out for microwaving a Lean Cuisine.  I take vitamins religiously, don’t keep cash in my school bag {because somebody installed a freaking Dr. Pepper machine in my workroom and holy cow, I cannot resist the call of the Dr. Pepper}, exercise frequently, and see a chiropractor regularly.  We only get one trip before we’re six feet under, so it may as well be a healthy one.  But it’s also okay to occasionally indulge in cookies, because we aren’t all Jillian Flipping Michaels.  

I know what you’re thinking…most of this seems pretty shallow.  And maybe it is.  But I can’t be my best self for my husband, my dog, my students, or my friends if I don’t make myself a priority.  If I take good care of myself, it means that the people I love get me at my best instead of getting me at my meh, this is all I have left to give.  In loving myself enough to take the time to care for myself, I’m also loving others.

What about you?  Do you have strong feelings about self-care?  Any self-care secrets to share?



PS:  Josh bought me some prizes for Valentine’s Day and I’m so ready for Easter and warm weather!

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies was everything I wanted it to be because Mr. Darcy in a leather jacket is > Mr. Darcy in a frock coat.  And Matt Smith made a most odious Mr. Collins.

I’m reading Farmer Boy to Josh every night because he didn’t have sisters and doesn’t know Little House and I forgot how much I love Almanzo Wilder.  Josh’s review?  “All that kid does is EAT!”

.nightly routines.


By nature, I’m not a great sleeper.  I hear all the creaky noises and I notice when my cats are wandering the house with their noisy little paws.  We live near a main highway, so the people driving by at 2:00 a.m. blaring something abysmal {think Florida Georgia Line} automatically become my least favorite people.  And the coyotes…well, they sound like screaming babies that have entered some kind of Mad Max/Hunger Games alternate universe.

Tomorrow is my first official day of summer vacation and I plan to use my time wisely and really focus on my self-care {more on that later this summer}.  I believe that a major component of self-care comes from developing a nightly routine that lets my body know it’s time to unwind and relax.  Here’s my plan:

1.  Eliminate screen time.  Just run a search on screen time before bedtime and you’ll see that researchers agree that it’s pretty bad for you.  Scrolling through social media or even reading on your iPhone or iPad make it harder to fall asleep and/or stay asleep.  Not getting enough sleep can trigger a lot of other health problems like obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.  My ultimate goal is to flip my phone to the “Do Not Disturb” mode around 8:30 every evening in order to let my body know it’s time to get ready to sleep.

2.  Remove my makeup.  I’m pretty religious about washing my face.  I love how relaxed it makes me feel when I combine hot water with the soothing scent of Noxzema {yes, people still use Noxzema}.  I use this moisturizer and I’ve been really pleased with the results.

3.  Slather up!  I have super dry skin and pretty bad eczema, so my moisturizing routine has to be pretty strict.  I use this lip balm every night and I love that it doesn’t get sticky throughout the night.  I use this moisturizer on my hands, elbows, and feet and I usually mix in a little Lavender essential oil.

4.  Diffuse something relaxing.  We use our home diffuser every single day.  Each night around 7:30 or so, we start diffusing a nice mix of Lavender & Stress Ease.  Just the scent of the oils lets my body know that it’s time to relax.

5.  Have a cup of tea.  My current nighttime teas are Tension Tamer {especially with a drop of Thieves!} and the old standby, Sleepytime.  Having something warm {and caffeine free} is yet another way to let my body know that it is time to unwind.

6.  Read a book.  I’m talking a real-life-can-still-smell-the-printer’s-ink-honest-to-goodness-book.  This summer I’m focusing on re-reading series that I’ve always loved like Harry Potter and Anne of Green Gables.

I am a creature of routine, so I know developing practices that help me relax will ultimately result in better self-care for both myself and Josh.  I’m really hopeful that this is a routine that can stick!

What about you?  Do you have a nightly routine that works for you?




These nightgowns from Target are my favorite.  The fluid knit feels so soft and stays cool all night.

These linen sheets from Restoration Hardware are on my future splurge list.

These are two great examples of bedtime routines:  link & link.

.family supper club.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable, blessed Thanksgiving.  We ventured down to Augusta to celebrate with my Mama’s family.  After losing Mama’s stepfather and mother within 48 hours about two weeks ago, it was wonderful to be surrounded by family.

When Josh decided to go back to school in order to gain a teaching certificate, we knew our already hectic schedule would morph into this crazy monster.  I knew our precious quality time was going to be pushed aside for things like term papers, teacher work samples, and endless hours of studying for seemingly endless certification tests.

As someone who craves quality time, I was dreading Josh’s foray into graduate school.  By nature, I crave the quiet and the familiar.  Grad school + football season + wrestling season does not equal the time I desperately need at home with my husband and family.  Over manis and pedis, I confided in my mother about my concerns and she {as usual} came up with a most brilliant plan:


Family Supper Club.  The concept is simple:  plan and cook meals with the people you love.  This isn’t meant to be a nightly dinner party or anything particularly fancy.  It’s a way to spend maximize quality time while minimizing both stress and grocery bills.  It also eliminates leftovers altogether, something that makes Mr. C very happy.

Our Family Supper Club has been going strong for nearly a year now and I cannot say enough about what a blessing it is.  Even during our most hectic weeks {those weeks where football season and wrestling season intersect…nightmare!}, we were able to sit down to home cooked meals instead of relying solely on fast food or take away.  Some weeks we rely heavily on Mama and Daddy and other weeks they rely heavily on us.  In the end, we typically have four to five nights plus a Sunday dinner together.

I cannot stress what a blessing my Mama’s little idea has been.  Instead of worrying over what to cook seven nights a week, I might cook three nights a week at a maximum.  It has also been a wonderful incentive to follow our chore chart each day to keep our house “company ready.”  Is it a perfect system?  No, but it’s a lot better than getting home at 7:30 in the evening and guiltily eating fast food.


1.  Find Your People.  Does Family Supper Club have to be strictly for family members?  Absolutely not.  Find a core group of people that you love and you’re all set!  Our FSC consists of the “core four” of Josh, Mama, Daddy, and me.  Sometimes we include my Grandma and Pop in the mix.  Other times, my cousin Clay and his wife Lauren join us.  The most important thing to remember is that if you don’t want to cook for a group of twelve, keep it small.

2.  Plan.  This was the part of FSC that was most difficult at first.  If you don’t plan together with your group members, someone might screw up {or get their feelings hurt!}.  Mama and I sit down each Sunday either in person or via text to discuss our comings and goings for the week.  All members of the core four have access to one another’s Google Calendars so we know exactly when Josh and Daddy have fire meeting, I have cheer practice, or Mama has a board meeting.

After we’ve established the who and where, we plan the what.  I typically cook on Mondays and Wednesdays while Mama takes Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We keep Fridays and Saturdays open for date nights or whatnot.  Sometimes Mama and I go grocery shopping together and sometimes we don’t.  Regardless, we always have a plan in place before the work week begins.

3.  Prep on Sunday.  One of the best things we’ve ever done in our marriage is to go to the market and prep all of our meals on Sunday.  Anything that needs slicing, dicing, chopping, or marinating gets done on Sunday.  We also prep our breakfasts {chia seed overnight oats} and lunches {usually grilled chicken, a complex carb, and a roasted veggie} at the same time.  It’s such a relief on our scheduled nights when I can come home, play with Atlas, grab the gallon-sized Ziploc bag labeled Monday, dump the contents in a pan, and call it a day.

4.  Cook!  It doesn’t have to be fancy!  I love spending time in the kitchen and I especially love trying new recipes, but I’ve learned to save that experimentation for our summer holiday.  Mama and I both utilize the Crockpot quite often and we each have a handful of healthy, filling recipes that are both tasty and easy to prepare.

5.  If at first you don’t succeed, fry, fry a hen.  Just kidding.  Working out the schedules of a family in the 21st century is a little bit like origami.  Sometimes our most well-planned weeks fall to the wayside.  Sometimes life just happens.  Don’t let one bad week ruin something that is ultimately meant to simplify your life.

Would you ever start your own Family Supper Club?  Or have you already got a similar system in place that works?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy Holidays!



P.S.  My favorite recipe ever.

This makes washing up after FSC a breeze.

If you want to follow our FSC exploits, follow our hashtag #familysupperclub.

.just checking in.

So, we’re still here.  We’ve been woefully absent from our blog, sweet blog, but football season morphed into this all-consuming mountain of work and though I love my cheer gals, spending that much time around twenty-four teenagers day after day doesn’t really cultivate a ton of meaningful blog topics.  I do know how to properly use the term bae, though.

Josh is now in the midst of wrestling season and we recently spent eleven hours at a wrestling tournament.  Have y’all ever been to a wrestling tournament?  I’m now an expert and I can tell you all about it.  At this particular tournament, the concession stand ran out of food before lunch, the youths picked the hospitality suite clean by noon, and a thirteen year old asked for my number.  When I told him that I’m “nearly” thirty and married, I thought he was going to barf.

A few things of note:

1.  I finished all of my Christmas shopping within thirty minutes of opening my laptop.  It was fantastic.  Major props to Pottery Barn, Marley Lilly, and Amazon for making my life that much easier.

2.  I read Gone Girl last month and we saw the film with some friends.  Holy Guacamole, Batman, both were mind blowing!

3.  I kept my mums alive for the majority of the pumpkin-decor season.  This is a first, y’all.

4.  We’ve been obsessed with How To Get Away With Murder and that last episode made me pee my pants a little.  HOLY crap.

5.  I’ve been using this nipple balm as chapstick and it has officially changed my life.  Weird?  Yes.  Do I care?  Absolutely not.

I hope everyone {especially those with the full week off like me} enjoys their well-deserved time off this week!



.in defense of the summer hat.


Recently I attended an outdoor wedding that took place in a large field.  The reception was held in an open-air tabernacle and it threatened to rain for the entirety of the ceremony.  I wore a simple J. Crew party dress with pearls and found that my outfit was still lacking.  I added a large, cream colored, wide-brimmed hat that accented the outfit nicely.

Upon arriving at the venue, I was immediately teased for being overly-dramatic.  What felt like confidence was soon squashed by eye-rolls or cutting remarks.  I eventually took off my hat because who likes to be teased?  I felt more than a little crushed and later I felt angry…why let naysayers rain on my parade?  And who made them {mostly men} the fashion police?

As a side note, I’d like to point out that my Daddy wears a hat to nearly every wedding or outdoor event he attends.  Nobody teases him or makes claims about him acting like a drama queen {king?}.  Instead, they remark on his taste.  Why the double-standard?

Exhibit A:  the man wearing the iPhone clip on his belt is praised for his style {no offense, Dad}.  If I wear a hat, I’m called a witch and burned at the stake {now that’s an excellent example of what being overdramatic really is}.


I’ve never been one to really concern myself with the opinions of others, but being teased is never fun.  After developing a thicker skin {so necessary in the scorching Georgia heat!}, here are several hats I’d love to over-dramatically wear  outdoor events:

Aren’t they all just delicious?  We have several weddings left to attend this summer and I plan to wear a hat to each and every event.  If it’s good enough for Kate Middleton, it’s definitely good enough for me.

What about you?  Do you wear hats to weddings, church, or other events?  Why or why not?  If you knew people wouldn’t make a big deal out of it, would you wear a hat?




The greatest hat scene in a film ever, ever, ever.

The best hat of all time.

And the worst.

What Emily Post has to say about hats.

.a funny little habit//d-day.

Josh has this funny little habit he picked up from my Daddy:  regardless of where we are or what we’re doing, if he spots a veteran, he’ll drop everything to shake the veteran’s hand.  And on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, I’ve had that habit replaying in the back of my mind all day.

A few years ago, we were having dinner at our favorite restaurant when a WWII veteran and his wife were seated at a table near us.  The restaurant is known for being especially dark and noisy, but Josh made a beeline for the gentleman posthaste.  After shaking his hand and thanking him for his sacrifice, the elderly gentleman nudged Josh with his cane and gestured towards me.

“That your girl?” he asked.

“Yes sir, that’s my wife,” Josh answered.

“I bet she can kick your ass with them boots, boy.  Best keep an eye on her,” the veteran laughed.

Our generation has much to learn from the Greatest Generation, especially about sacrifice.  I hope we never forget the cost of our freedoms, rights, responsibilities, and privileges because they certainly weren’t free.  I hope everyone in my age bracket can develop Josh’s habit…our veterans deserve far more than a handshake, but it’s certainly a start.

“If ever proof were needed that we fought for a cause & not conquest, it could be found in these cemeteries.  Here was our only conquest:  all we asked…was enough soil in which to bury our gallant dead.”  General Mark W. Clark



All this VA Hospital mess is despicable.  If it concerns you, contact the White House or your Senator and let them know that Eric Shinseki’s resignation isn’t enough.

Josh’s favorite mini-series.

And his second favorite.

We just finished The World Wars.  Have you seen it?  I’m a certified Social Studies teacher {and Josh will be certified by December} and we both learned a ton about The Great War & WWII.  If you haven’t seen it, click the link to watch all three episodes.

I took Josh to this museum for his 24th birthday.  If you’re local, I’d highly recommend it.

Josh and his brother are running the Currahee Challenge in October to celebrate Josh’s 27th birthday.  I can’t wait to experience the 2014 Currahee Military Weekend.


We’ve been married four years.  Four.  We didn’t date all that long before we got engaged, so four years seems like a lifetime.


Four years is long enough to know how he takes his coffee {black on weekdays, two creams & one sugar on Saturdays}.


Four years is long enough to know that he’d prefer to binge on a Ken Burns documentary but will stoically agree to Sense & Sensibility {again}.


Four years is long enough to know that when he makes me a cup of tea, he’ll deliver it in our largest soup mug instead of one of my dainty tea cups {because, caffeine!}.


It’s also long enough to know that he’ll be silly when I need it and solemn when it comes to the important stuff.


To my darling man, thank you.



P.S.  Even though we normally stick with the traditional anniversary gifts, we didn’t want or need anything in satin or linen.  Josh ordered me this bikini and a 2015 Lilly planner in my favorite print and I’ve yet to get him anything {because he cannot make up his mind!}.


.first position.

Since marrying Captain C, I’ve become well-versed in documentaries.  Waiting for Superman inspired Josh to go back to grad school to become a teacher.  Food, Inc. made us really become mindful about the purchases we made each week at the grocery store.  Forks Over Knives has sent me into not one, not two, not three, but four forays into a vegan lifestyle.  In addition, Josh’s Netflix queue is Ken Burns documentary after Ken Burns documentary {we watched this one on Memorial Day and have been enjoying this one for several weeks}.  Marrying a man with a film degree has definitely rubbed off on me.

Tonight while Josh worked on an annotated bibliography, I looked through his documentary queue and found this gem:  First Position.


It was a gorgeous look into the lives of children who yearn to become professional ballet dancers.  It was intense and moving {twenty minutes in, I was sobbing}.  Even if you’ve never been to the ballet, you’ll appreciate the dedication, athleticism, and raw talent on screen.  Josh is not a fan of ballet by any means and he had a vested interest in each of the children.  I especially enjoyed the intimate look at the racial and gender stereotypes many dancers face when trying to gain scholarships or contracts with dance companies.  If you need something out of the ordinary, I’d highly recommend First Position for a weeknight in at home.

What are some of your favorite documentaries?  Have you ever seen something that inspired you to change a habit or become something different?  I found myself wishing I’d stuck with ballet!